NBA Veteran Goran Dragic Retires After 15 Years, Lived His Greatest Dream

‣ Goran Dragic, a Slovenian veteran who played for seven NBA teams over his 15-year career, announced his retirement on December 31, 2023.
‣ Dragic was a former All-Star player and led the Slovenian team to victory in the EuroBasket championship in 2017. He was also part of the All-NBA team in the 2013/14 season and was voted the league’s most improved athlete that year.
‣ Dragic plans to celebrate his retirement after the Paris Olympics in Ljubljana, Slovenia. He became a national hero in Slovenia after leading the country to their first-ever European trophy.

Details

Goran Dragic has called it quits. After a 15-year career in the NBA, playing for seven different teams, he’s finally ready to hang up his basketball shoes. The Slovenian veteran made his retirement announcement on December 31, 2023, just as the year was drawing to a close.

Dragic, a former Miami Heat guard, has earned a lot of respect throughout his NBA journey. He wasn’t just an All-Star player. He also led the Slovenian team to victory in the EuroBasket championship back in 2017.

He’s had quite the career. Phoenix, Houston, Chicago, Brooklyn, Milwaukee, Toronto, and finally the Heat – he’s played for them all. He even made the All-NBA team in the 2013/14 season. That year, he was also voted the league’s most improved athlete.

“I have lived my greatest dream,” he said. He expressed gratitude for the many people in his life who made his long career possible.

His family was a big part of his journey. “It starts with my parents, Marinko and Mojca, my brother, Zoran, my kids, Mateo and Vikorita and their mother Maja, and the rest of my family,” he said in his announcement. They always allowed his passion for basketball to take center stage.

Dragic plans to celebrate his retirement next summer, after the Paris Olympics. The party will be in Ljubljana, Slovenia. More details about the event are expected to be shared in the coming week.

He’s a national hero in Slovenia. He led his country to their first-ever European trophy, a major sports accolade for Slovenia. “It was everything,” Dragic said about that moment.

He thanked a long list of people who helped him throughout his career, including David Stern and Adam Silver, the NBA’s two commissioners during his time in the league. “All good things come to an end but this dream of basketball will always be with me,” Goran shared.

Luka Doncic, a compatriot and NBA star, called Dragic an inspiration. Back in 2017, Doncic was a young guard for Real Madrid. Today, he praises Dragic as one of his biggest mentors in the game.

Dragic is also loved in Miami, where he occasionally lives with his family. When he was a free agent in 2020, the Heat surprised him with billboards in Slovenia. The slogans read: “Your second family is always with you.” He ended up signing another contract in South Beach and was part of the team that lost the NBA Finals to the Los Angeles Lakers after six games.

“Can you do something for me?” he asked a reporter after losing the title. “Tell the fans we really tried and I’m sorry. I really tried.”

James Shotwell
James Shotwell
James, a dedicated writer for BasketballHour, holds a degree in English and Creative Writing. A genuine sports enthusiast and skilled betting advice provider, he writes engaging articles and valuable winning strategies for sports.

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